Marketing and Sales Funnel is a visual representation of every stage of the product or service buying process, from when a customer learns about a company to making a purchase. As can be seen, by the metaphor, sales funnels are shaped like inverted pyramids, similar to real-world funnels. The top of the funnel contains the largest audience, while the bottom has the smallest. Each part of the funnel reflects audience size.
Visitors to a website or mobile app are at the top of the funnel, and sales or conversions are at the bottom. Marketing sales aims to generate leads in this model so that the sales team can convert prospects into customers as quickly as possible.
Marketing activities build demand for a product or service by generating awareness, such as social media posts, webinars, retargeting ads, or strong search engine optimization, and developing understanding and building awareness.
Educating a prospective customer about the benefits of your offering and raising awareness of it is the process of moving them through the funnel toward becoming a customer.
As customers learn more about your product, they begin to express intent to purchase and further interest in it. As a result, they move down the sales funnel, from initial contact down to final purchase.
At each stage, prospects drop off so that fewer and fewer customers are left. Efficiency in sales and marketing is defined as increasing conversion rates in the funnel at each stage so that more customers make it to the end.
Types Of Funnels
Every industry has a different sales funnel. The B2C sales funnel for an online retailer may be as short as a few minutes, while the B2B funnel may last for several months or more. Some funnels contain several phases, while others have fewer.
For example, in a typical e-commerce sales funnel, site visitors start at the top of the funnel, visitors add items to their cart and go to checkout in the middle, and customers complete the transaction at the bottom.
Customers who visit the site, add items to their shopping cart, and complete their purchases through the e-commerce funnel above could be converted to customers in just a matter of minutes.
A B2B enterprise sales funnel would have website visitors entering at the top of the funnel, becoming leads by filling out a form that triggers an opt-in to be nurtured through email marketing, and then reaching out to a salesperson to get the deal done. In addition to reading customer case studies or downloading free e-books, a B2B lead might also need some more nurturing to get them familiar with the product during the months leading up to provide more information.
Alternatively, these funnel stages could be broken up into smaller ones by zooming in closer on each step and looking at the user’s specific actions.
Importance Of Understanding The Sales Funnel
It is crucial to understand how sales funnels work and how they can visualize the customer journey from initial awareness to conversion. By analyzing your sales funnel, you can identify areas for improvement and analyze your business more effectively.
In the case of an e-commerce site, the funnel might show a noticeable drop-off between the time users visit the shopping cart and the time they collect payment. Using this information, a company can deduce why this is so and test options to increase conversions, such as cutting form fields, building trust with sales, making CTAs more prominent, or implementing limited-time offers. Controlled A/B tests can be conducted to test these ideas and reduce the percentage of visitors who abandon their shopping cart and abandon the funnel
Optimizing Your Funnel
Programs like Optimizely enable you to conduct A/B testing at all stages of your sales funnel. It’s easy to set up tests within minutes to optimize websites, landing pages, signup forms, newsletters, email campaigns, and more.
You can optimize each of these key customer touchpoints with Optimizely, increasing revenue for you as soon as possible by optimizing your customer touchpoints.